Suspected heart abnormality

Today on your scan there is a suspected problem with your baby’s heart.

The heart is a complicated organ to scan and any uncertainty will need a more in-depth scan to exclude or diagnose an abnormality.

What happens next?

You can discuss the scan findings with the Fetal Medicine Midwife but unfortunately you will not get all the information or answers until further investigation.

You will be referred to the Bristol Fetal Cardiology Unit at St Michaels Hospital.

You will receive a phone call with details of your appointment.

Your appointment will be with a Paediatric Cardiologist who will perform a Fetal Echo.

Please take your hand-held maternity notes with you.

What is a Fetal Echo?

A Fetal Echo is similar to a normal scan you have already had except it will  focus on the baby’s heart.

It will take pictures of the heart to see how it is developing and to look at the blood flow around it.

The findings will be discussed on the same day, whether normal or not.

What happens if a problem is detected?

If your baby has a heart defect the Paediatric Cardiologist will explain what it is and what it means. You can discuss your options and a plan for your pregnancy.

The Bristol Fetal Cardiology unit will inform the Fetal Medicine Team at your local hospital where you will be given an appointment at the Antenatal Clinic for a further scan and discussion with the Consultant Obstetrician.


We understand this is a stressful and difficult time.

If you have any questions regarding the fetal echo and its findings you can contact the Cardiac Specialist Nurse on:

Bristol Tel: 0117 342 8578

Bristol Tel: 0117 342 8286

Please contact the Fetal Medicine Midwife if you have any questions or concerns too on:

Royal Gwent Hospital 01633 234747

Nevill Hall Hospital 01873 732390 or 01873 732391

Bristol Fetal Medicine Unit 0117 3425470 website: University Hospital Bristol Fetal Medicine unit 

Useful contacts & websites

Bristol Fetal Cardiology Unit 0117 3425394

ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices) - Offer information and support to parents who are making decisions before, during and after tests in pregnancy

Tel no: 084507722990


Email: info@arc-uk-org

British Heart Foundation


Tiny Tickers


Tel 03001021508

South West Heart Circle


Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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